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How Many Types Of Bipolar Disorder Are There

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Bipolar 1 Vs Bipolar 2


All types of bipolar disorder are characterized by episodes of extreme mood. The highs are known as manic episodes. The lows are known as depressive episodes.

The main difference between bipolar 1 and bipolar 2 disorders lies in the severity of the manic episodes caused by each type.

A person with bipolar 1 will experience a full manic episode, while a person with bipolar 2 will experience only a hypomanic episode .

A person with bipolar 1 may or may not experience a major depressive episode, while a person with bipolar 2 will experience a major depressive episode.

Bipolar Ii: What To Expect

Bipolar II is sometimes erroneously referred to as a milder form of bipolar I. But although patients with bipolar II do not develop the most severe symptoms of full-blown mania, they tend to have symptoms more of the time. Long periods of depression are typical of bipolar II disorder and can be even more debilitating than the dramatic but shorter-lived episodes of bipolar I illness.

Persons with bipolar II are more likely to have a seasonal variation in their symptoms, meaning that they tend to get depressed in the fall and winter and feel betteror even develop hypomaniain the spring and summer. Whereas patients with bipolar I frequently have irritable manic symptoms, the hypomanic periods of bipolar II patients are characterized by an elated mood.

Concerning depressive symptoms, patients with bipolar II disorder more often suffer from psychomotor agitation, guilty feelings, and thoughts of suicide. Bipolar II patients also have a higher incidence of phobias and eating disorders. Typically, hypomanic episodes taper off as the bipolar II patient ages. When they reach middle age, depression is usually the predominant mood.

Living With Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder patients can learn to cope with this lifelong illness. They must also make every attempt possible to reduce and manage their symptoms.

Common steps involve using medication, going to therapy, and avoiding episodic triggers. The patient can make lifestyle changes such as taking up exercise. They should focus on sleeping well, reducing stress, and avoiding substance abuse.

The preferred medication includes lithium, Carbamazepine, Lamotrigine, and antipsychotic medications such as Olanzapine. Therapies can include psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy , and cognitive behavioral therapy .

Preventing childhood abuse or drug misuse may avert the risk of bipolar disorder. Yet, that wont account for the genetic and familial factors. More research is necessary to enhance prevention measures and to improve diagnostic mechanisms.

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Bipolar Disorder Type I

Bipolar disorder type I is thought of as classic bipolar disorder, perhaps because it was identified the earliest. In bipolar disorder type I, the person experiences elevated mood states known as manias and low mood states known as depressions . A person with bipolar disorder type I may also experience periods with few-to-no symptoms and these are known as euthymia. Bipolar disorder type I is also often accompanied by psychosis .

Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

"Bipolar is Just an Excuse"

Lets examine the symptoms of bipolar extreme highs and lows. There are three types of episodes with bipolar that help examine both the severity of the episode and the symptoms experienced. This is how a diagnosis is reached for a type of bipolar disorder.

Three episodes of bipolar are:

  • Manic: This extreme level of the left column of symptoms may also go so far as to have hallucinations or psychotic breaks. Medical intervention may be needed, along with hospitalization. This can be short-lived or occur over two weeks.
  • Hypomanic: This is a less extreme display of manic symptoms and typically would not require outside intervention. The behaviors may have side effects, such as large shopping bills, poor sexual decisions, or insomnia.
  • Depressed: This is 14 days or longer where a person remains isolated, listless, experiencing crying jags, poor hygiene, and cannot cope with daily responsibilities. The symptoms displayed on the right of the table will show the state of mind more fully.

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Beyond Treatment: Things You Can Do

Regular Exercise: Regular aerobic exercise, such as jogging, brisk walking, swimming, or bicycling, helps with depression and anxiety, promotes better sleep, and is healthy for your heart and brain. There is also some evidence that anaerobic exercise such as weightlifting, yoga, and Pilates can be helpful. Check with your health care provider before you start a new exercise regimen.

Keeping a Life Chart: Even with proper treatment, mood changes can occur. Treatment is more effective when a patient and health care provider work together and talk openly about concerns and choices. Keeping a life chart that records daily mood symptoms, treatments, sleep patterns, and life events can help patients and health care providers track and treat bipolar disorder over time. Patients can easily share data collected via smartphone apps including self-reports, self- ratings, and activity data with their health care providers and therapists.

Types Of Mania In Bipolar Disorder

Explanation of the different types of mania and how they relate to bipolar psychosis.

Now that you have some basic information about psychosis, this section of the article will explain how psychosis directly relates to mania and depression. But first, I’d like to recap the different types of bipolar mania as this is what makes bipolar psychosis so complicated and often difficult to treat.

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Do People With Bipolar Disorder Know They Have The Condition Before Getting Diagnosed

Sometimes. For example, Ayetoro had suspicions for years before officially being diagnosed in 2014.

I experienced what I thought were abnormal swings in mood from very high energy to very low energy for a very long time before. My moods would get so low that I was spending unusual amounts of time in bed depressed, she recalls. It was strange that this depression would follow periods of extremely high spirits.

She experienced two manic episodes before receiving her diagnosis. It was somewhat of a relief to put a name to what was with me, but then began the hard road to stability.

On the other hand, Howard was surprised to receive a diagnosis of bipolar I with psychosis at age 25. As for what made me believe I may have had an illness literally nothing. I was tricked into going to the hospital. Up until the moment I was admitted, I thought everything was normal. It was quite the shock.

Who would I be without bipolar disorder? Id love to find out, he adds. But harnessing my mind and using it to the best of my ability has been my lifes work.

Causes Of Bipolar Disorder

4 Types of Bipolar Disorder (2019)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , bipolar disorders average start is 25 years.

Though it is more common in women, men have an earlier onset of the disease. Women may start with a depressive phase while men may start with a manic episode.

Doctors dont know the exact cause of this disorder. Even so, the likely causes are:

  • Genetic factors and family history
  • Stressful or traumatic events
  • Presence of another anxiety disorder, such as depression
  • Biological or neurological changes, for example, due to hormonal imbalances
  • Environmental factors, such as having a bipolar parent

Various studies show certain genes increase the chance of having the disease. As for family history, many bipolar patients have someone in the family who has the disease as well. To be clear, having this family history does not mean the illness will occur.

Stressful events could involve death or being in an abusive relationship. They could involve suffering long-term illness. Such events trigger immense grief, pain, and even illness due to a weakened immune system.

Over time, this stress becomes chronic and starts affecting other areas of the persons life. Signs of this appear as anxiety, weight gain, affected memory, and high blood pressure.

Unfortunately, bipolar disorder lasts a lifetime. As such, patients must learn how to manage their symptoms. If not, they could become a danger to themselves and others.

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Are There Other Types Of Bipolar Disorder

There are two other types of bipolar disorder, but they are far less common than bipolar I and II.

Cyclothymic Disorder is a milder form of bipolar. Moods fluctuate between short-but-distinct periods of hypomania and low levels of depression. In order for a diagnosis of cyclothymic disorder, symptoms must be evident for at least two years. People with cyclothymic disorder can have stable moods for long periods of time, then experience cyclical mood swings of peaks and dips.

Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders has no specific criteria for diagnosis. Its more of a catch-all phrase of symptoms that are similar to bipolar disorder but do not meet the full criteria. People with this diagnosis experience signs of mania or hypomania and depression but the episodes are too short to be considered bipolar I or II or cyclothymic disorder.

Remember: No matter what type of bipolar you or someone you know has been diagnosed with, there is hope. With the right treatment and lifestyle adjustments, most people with bipolar can be happy and productive.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Mixed Features Episode

Mixed episodes are defined by symptoms of mania and depression that occur at the same time or in rapid sequence without recovery in between..

  • Mania with mixed features usually involves irritability, high energy, racing thoughts and speech, and overactivity or agitation.
  • Depression during episodes with mixed features involves the same symptoms as in “regular” depression, with feelings of sadness, loss of interest in activities, low energy, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, and thoughts of suicide.

This may seem impossible. How can someone be manic and depressed at the same time? The high energy of mania with the despair of depression are not mutually exclusive symptoms, and their co-occurrence may be much more common than people realize.

For example, a person in an episode with mixed features could be crying uncontrollably while announcing they have never felt better in their life. Or they could be exuberantly happy, only to suddenly collapse in misery. A short while later they might suddenly return to an ecstatic state.

Mood episodes with mixed features can last from days to weeks or sometimes months if untreated. They may recur ,and recovery can be slower than during episodes of “pure” bipolar depression or “pure” mania or hypomania.

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What Is The Outlook

Bipolar disorder isnt curable. But with proper treatment and support from family and friends, you can manage your symptoms and maintain your quality of life.

Its important that you follow your doctors instructions regarding medications and other lifestyle choices. This includes:

Including your friends and family members in your care can be especially helpful.

Its also helpful to learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder. The more you know about the condition, the more in control you may feel as you adjust to life after diagnosis.

You may be able to repair strained relationships. Educating others about bipolar disorder may make them more understanding of hurtful events from the past.

What Are Mood Episodes

What is Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorder experience periods of unusually intense emotion, changes in energy and activity levels, and uncharacteristic behaviors. These distinct periods are called mood episodes.

There are three main mood episodes:

  • Manic: During a manic episode, you may feel extremely energized and happy, sometimes even unusually angry or irritable. You feel like you have extra energy to burn. This period lasts at least one week.
  • Hypomanic: Less severe manic episodes are called hypomania. In addition to not being as extreme, hypomanic episodes are also shorterthey usually only last a few days.;
  • Depressive: A major depressive episode is a period of at least two weeks during which you experience five or more depressive symptoms nearly every day for most of the day.
  • Some people can even experience symptoms of depression and mania at the same time . This is called a mixed episode.

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    Medications For Bipolar Disorder

    Certain medications help with managing symptoms of bipolar disorder. Psychopharmaceuticals, for example, are used to help balance mood and can be used immediately after diagnosis. Some treatment plans may target sleep and anxiety, while others may seek to treat depressive episodes. This process may take some time, and a person might need to try several different medications before finding the ones that work best. Before starting a medication, it is important to:

    • Understand the risks and benefits of the medication
    • Report side effects to your doctor right away
    • Tell the doctor about any other prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or supplements being taken;

    Once prescribed, the medication shouldnt be stopped without first consulting a health care provider first. Medications for bipolar disorder are meant to be taken consistently, as prescribed, even once a person starts feeling better. If an individual stops taking a prescribed medication, it may actually lead to a worsening of bipolar symptoms.;

    Depending on a persons situation and unique needs, in addition to medications, symptoms of bipolar disorder can be managed with the following treatment options:;;

    Symptoms That Lead To A Diagnosis

    If youre suffering from any kind of mental health disorder, its important that you identify and understand your symptoms in order for our doctors to correctly diagnose you. Bipolar disorder consists of both manic and depressive episodes that create an unstable mood.;

    Mania can be extreme changes in mood, or you can have hypomania which is typically less severe. Symptoms of mania include:

    Difficulty sleeping Extreme energy Increased self-esteem Difficulty concentrating Racing thoughts

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, depression can change your emotional highs to hopeless lows. If you have bipolar disorder with depression, symptoms you may experience include:

    Fatigue Sadness Decreased energy Overeating or loss of appetite Suicidal thoughts

    Our team at Boston MindCare take a detailed history to decipher your symptoms and give you a definitive diagnosis. With that, we can also form a customized treatment plan for you.

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    Success Of Treatment For Bipolar

    If you or someone you love has been experiencing manic, hypomanic, or depressive, or major depressive episodes, you are not alone. As we mentioned earlier, millions of people live with bipolar disorder.;

    And, although bipolar disorder is a serious and lifelong condition, many people are able to successfully treat their symptoms and enjoy a healthy and satisfying life. At Futures, we provide comprehensive, compassionate care for a wide range of mental illnesses, including bipolar disorder and co-occurring disorders.;

    Help for bipolar disorder can start today. Contact us confidentially online or by phone at 866-804-2098.;

    Coping With Bipolar Disorder

    Types of Bipolar Disorder

    Living with bipolar disorder can be challenging, but there are ways to help make it easier for yourself, a friend, or a loved one.

    • Get treatment and stick with itrecovery takes time and its not easy. But treatment is the best way to start feeling better.
    • Keep medical and therapy appointments and talk with the provider about treatment options.
    • Take all medicines as directed.
    • Structure activities: keep a routine for eating and sleeping, and make sure to get enough sleep and exercise.
    • Learn to recognize your mood swings and warning signs, such as decreased sleep.
    • Ask for help when trying to stick with your treatment.
    • Be patient; improvement takes time. Social support helps.
    • Avoid misuse of alcohol and drugs.

    Remember: Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness, but long-term, ongoing treatment can help control symptoms and enable you to live a healthy life.

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    Well Which One Do I Have

    If you think that you or someone you love is living with some form of bipolar disorder, the first step is to reach out to your primary doctor or a mental health professional.

    It can help to keep a journal of your symptoms to bring to your first appointment. Knowing your specific symptoms, when they happen, and any possible triggers can help your clinician answer questions and give you a more accurate diagnosis.

    Think about how often your symptoms pop up, and for how long they stick around.

    If your mood episodes and changes are frequent and intense, you may have bipolar I disorder. If your symptoms are less severe, but still significantly impact your life, you may have bipolar II disorder or cyclothymia.

    That said, there are other mental health conditions that have overlapping symptoms. Between that, the additional specifiers, and your overall uniqueness, the best way to get answers is to reach out for an evaluation.

    Seeing a mental health professional is the first step toward figuring out a treatment plan for bipolar disorder no matter what type you have. With the right tools, strategies, and meds, you can successfully manage your condition and live well.

    Once youve received a diagnosis, your treatment plan might involve:

    • medications

    Four Types Of Bipolar Disorder

    To further complicate the diagnosis, there are four types of bipolar:

    • Bipolar I: A person may experience a manic episode of extreme highs lasting around seven days or requiring hospitalization. This may or may not be followed by an extremely depressed period lasting around two weeks.
    • Bipolar II: A person may experience a less-intense version of mania called hypomania, which is not as severe as bipolar I. A depressive episode may occur before or after the hypomania. This depressive state can be severe and one condition of bipolar is not more or less serious than another.
    • Cyclothymic disorder. This type of disorder can occur when the mania or depression episode lasts longer than two years.
    • Other: This type of disorder could be rooted in substance use disorder affecting mood or other health concerns.

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    Symptoms Of Depressive Episodes

    Depressive episodes can also emerge without warning. Some of the triggers for these depressive periods include lack of sleep, excessive stress, or a negative life event, but often there is no known cause for the depression. The depressive episodes must be carefully monitored, as there is an increased risk of suicidal behavior during these phases.

    Symptoms include:

    • Feelings of despair and hopelessness
    • Intense fatigue
    • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
    • Chronic pain with no known medical cause
    • Trouble concentrating
    • Suicidal thoughts

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